MAXQDA: Discourse analysis software
Two of the most important stages of research are (1) data collection and (2) data analysis. Traditionally, for researchers in humanities it is more difficult to find suitable software to assist them in these tasks. MAXQDA, however, is designed specifically for these purposes and may be of particular use to scholars conducting qualitative or mixed methods research. Among other features, this program allows users
– to create a protocol of actions performed by different members of a team working on a given research project;
– to choose markers of different colours to label different units/chunks of data or different phenomena;
– to search documents for particular symbols, words, and phrases;
– to code with the help of emoticons or special symbols.
– to export information from MAXQDA to Excel;
– to make notes of ideas via a built-in notepad;
– to analyze textual, audio, and video data;
– to use georeferencing; and
– to draw summary grids.
The major advantage of the program is that it allows researchers to label, systematize, and otherwise organize their data and to add comments pertinent to the analysis. The major disadvantage of the program is, probably, its price. It starts at 99 Euros for a single license for students (fully functional) and grows up to twelve times for a single commercial license. A trial version (fully functional) is available for the period of 30 days. It is worth mentioning that MAXQDA is not a program which fully automatizes the process of data collection or analysis, but rather serves as a tool to facilitate collection and analysis of data.